May 2, 2012

Create the look: basic 1950s New Look

The New Look silhouette is my favourite. It's very feminine and fortunately it looks good on me. I believe creating that hourglass figure is the best way to create a fifties look. These days, a huge trend is repro wear with classic 'fifties' prints; polka dots and cherrys. I'm not a lover when it comes to those prints, although I can like it on others. To me; those prints (on their own) have got little to do with true fifties style. I believe the most important thing to create a fifties vibe in your outfit is the way the garment is 'shaped and styled.' Don't get me wrong; it can work, espescially when you're more into a Rockabilly look. As long as the printed fabric is part of an authentic looking garment, silhouette wise.
Don't forget this is just my personal opinion, I wouldn't wear cherry prints etc. but I often like them on others :) Let me get back to the silhouette, and the way to create it yourself. It is all about the waistline; whether you wear a skirt of pants, the garment needs to be worn in the waist and preferably accentuated with a (thin) belt. If a garment worn on the hips... it will never look fifties! When wearing a belt; those huge wide elastic belts with enormous buckles are cute... but often more eighties than fifties. And me no likey the whole 'Madonna-does-fifties-in-the-80s-look.'
Left is the correct hight, right is the hight people often mistake for a waistline!
The skirt in a New Look silhouette should be a cirkle skirt... or very close to one. During the seventies, high waisted wears were the trend as well... but the skirts were less full than the typical fifties skirt. Wearing a petticoat underneath the skirt/dress can strengthen the look, but it isn't necessary when the skirt is already a full circle. Oh and please don't go for the fluorescent petticoats, unless you are going to that 1980s' look after all haha. The length of the skirt needs to cover the knees at least. The most authentic length would be halfway across the calves (note: heels will be essential with this length.)
Contrary to the voluminous lower end of the silhouette; the shoulders were most often narrow. Shoulderpads were hot in the forties and later on in the eighties, but nowhere in between. A skirt was mostly worn with a blouse and/or a sweater/cardigan. Sleeves and necklines can be all different sizes and shapes. Blouses without a collar, rolled up (cap) sleeves, boatnecks... you can go in many different directions. Avoid wide t-shirts and anything with a print that is too modern.
For now, this will give you a good guide on how to create a basic, yet authentic New Look silhouette. In the future I'll tell more about outdoor wear, undergarments, evening wear, accessories, the household look and so on. Makeup wise I can recommend you to search on Youtube since there are many fun tutorials. Same goed for the hair, I'm not a genious with hairstyling so I will leave that to the professionals haha.


  1. I really, really love these look! And my fifties circle skirt... so feminine!

  2. Oh ik hou er van! Die 3e foto is geweldig, wat een look!

  3. i feel like an expert! i love this type of skirt and there is one which is the *perfect* skirt for me on asos whcih ticks all these boxes... have a good day, enjoy your blog as ever!


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